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David Bromwich: Mueller Time

18 April 2019
... On 22 March​ , Robert Mueller, the special counsel charged with investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election and its possible connection with the Trump campaign, submitted his report to WilliamBarr, the US attorney general. Two days later, Barr sent a letter to Congress summarising the two main conclusions of the report. First, he quoted Mueller’s conclusion that the inquiry ‘did not ...

Heavy Sledding

Chauncey Loomis

21 December 1989
The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909 
by Pierre Berton.
Viking, 672 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 670 82491 7
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Overland to Starvation Cove: With the Inuit in Search of Franklin 1878-1880 
by Heinrich Klutschak and William Barr.
Toronto, 261 pp., £17.50, February 1988, 0 8020 5762 4
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Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition 
by Owen Beattie and John Geiger.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 7475 0101 7
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... for the Franklin Expedition at mid-century, the story is complex. In the decade between 1848, when the search for Franklin began, and 1859, when M’Clintock discovered some grisly remains on King William Island, almost thirty naval and overland expeditions joined the search. A writer has to juggle the names of explorers, famous in their day, but now known only to Arctic buffs, such as John and James ...

House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican

7 March 2019
... His alleged collaborators in the Trump-WikiLeaks affair, Jerome Corsi and Randy Credico, have been subpoenaed by Mueller. Some protection may be afforded Trump by his nominee as attorney general, WilliamBarr, a right-wing Republican who believes in a strong chief executive; on 14 February Barr was confirmed by the Republican Senate, and he will work to keep Trump in office. The interesting question ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger

26 September 2019
... of climate change on national and international security, including the increase of refugees, humanitarian crises, the drain on resources and political instability. He is forbidden to appear by William Happer, senior director of the National Security Council.Happer, who is also the founder of an organisation called the CO2 Coalition, believes that carbon dioxide stimulates plant growth and actually ...

Britishmen

Tom Paulin

5 November 1981
Too Long a Sacrifice: Life and Death in Northern Ireland since 1969 
by Jack Holland.
Columbus, 217 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 396 07934 2
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A History of Northern Ireland 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 195 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 7171 1069 9
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... The recent, hasty legislation which prevents convicted terrorists standing for election in Northern Ireland is another example of this sapping of legality and so, too, is the case of Constable William McCaughey. Along with a police sergeant called Weir, McCaughey was tried and convicted of murdering a Catholic shopkeeper in revenge for an attack by the Provisional IRA. Both policemen were also ...
24 January 1991
D.H. Lawrence: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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Boy 
by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. Lawrence: A Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... into a lively story that is firmly aligned to when, where and what. There are interviews with friends of Lawrence you thought were dead, and the first published photo of Lawrence’s supposed lover, William Henry Hocking. This is surely the most readable, judicious and authoritative scholarly biography of Lawrence yet written. Yet it also presses hard against the limitations of its single-volume ...

The Atmosphere of the Clyde

Jean McNicol: Red Clydeside

22 December 2019
When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside 
by Maggie Craig.
Birlinn, 313 pp., £9.99, March 2018, 978 1 78027 506 2
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Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside 
by Kenny MacAskill.
Biteback, 310 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 1 78590 454 7
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John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside 
by Henry Bell.
Pluto, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2018, 978 0 7453 3838 5
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... place in the engineering works: Beardmore’s (ships, steel armour plate, naval guns; its enormous site at Parkhead Forge is now a shopping centre), Weir’s (pumps, compressors), Albion Motors, and Barr and Stroud (rangefinders). There was a steep increase in the cost of living after war began, and the first trouble came early in 1915 when the engineers demanded a wage rise of tuppence an hour. A ...

Mother

Wendy Steiner

19 October 1995
Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... of what a Buddha can see by sitting still and quietly looking.’ This is the pattern of Stein’s extraordinary legend; she pleased herself, and others came round. When she wrote in a final exam for William James, ‘I am so sorry but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy today,’ James understood, and gave her the highest grade in the class. She eventually graduated from ...
7 November 2019
... David Geffen (a new centre is named after Cohen and his wife, and an entire wing after Geffen). They responded to the call of MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, to recapture the idea proposed by Alfred Barr, its first head, that 20th-century art be seen as one great experiment or ‘work in progress’ that continues into the 21st century. Of course, MoMA also needed more space for its permanent ...
13 April 2000
The Unknown Matisse: Man of the North, 1869-1908 
by Hilary Spurling.
Penguin, 480 pp., £12.99, April 2000, 0 14 017604 7
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Matisse: Father and Son 
by John Russell.
Abrams, 416 pp., £25, May 1999, 0 8109 4378 6
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Ruthless Hedonism: The American Reception of Matisse 
by John O’Brien.
Chicago, 284 pp., £31.50, April 1999, 0 226 61626 6
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Matisse and Picasso 
by Yve-Alain Bois.
Flammarion, 272 pp., £35, February 1999, 2 08 013548 1
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... nude of 1901. From 1903 to 1904, years when he was trying to toe the line, comes Carmelina, a seated nude in bright light, with the red-shirted painter seen in a mirror – it looks oddly like one of William Orpen’s sunlight-in-the-studio pictures. In 1904 there was an exhibition at Vollard’s. Vollard and Matisse were about the same age and, as Spurling puts it, ‘both great gamblers’, although ...
16 December 2004
... made by John Elderfield and his team – Ann Temkin, Joachim Pissarro and Anne Umland (the first two are newcomers to MoMA).* Elderfield has worked in P&S for years, under the directorships of both William Rubin (1973-88) and Kirk Varnedoe (1988-2000). Yet Elderfield’s final show in the old building, Modern Starts (2000), was cause for concern: a post-historical hodgepodge of disparate works placed ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World

14 December 2017
The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William​ Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... of Modern Art in New York in 1929 has rightly been seen as a decisive moment, especially because it had a mission to educate and influence unlike that of any equivalent European institution. Alfred Barr, its first director, promoted an idea of modernity that was compatible with the corporate outlook of his chief supporter, Nelson Rockefeller.When MoMA was founded the trustees intended that when ...
13 October 1988
A Life 
by Elia Kazan.
Deutsch, 848 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 233 98292 2
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... one of the first in the cinema. He was a pioneer interpreter of and midwife to theatre work by Clifford Odets, Sam Behrman, Robert Ardrey, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robert Anderson and William Inge. He did the same in the cinema with Williams, Robert Sherwood, Inge, Steinbeck and Schulberg. Though he modestly disclaims more than typecast competence on the boards, it should be remembered ...

The Real Thing

Jenni Quilter

20 April 2016
Restless Ambition: Grace Hartigan, Painter 
by Cathy Curtis.
Oxford, 432 pp., £20.99, April 2015, 978 0 19 939450 0
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... Fifth Avenue looked like she belonged there. Hartigan knew success early. In 1953, during her third solo exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, the director of the Museum of Modern Art, Alfred J. Barr, had taken one of her paintings, The Persian Jacket, off the wall of the gallery and back with him to MoMA. (Her close friend Frank O’Hara, working at the museum’s front desk, was there to see ...

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